Essay on Alexander II vs Alexander III

756 Words Dec 31st, 2013 4 Pages
Compare and contrast the domestic policies of Alexander II and Alexander III Alexander II and his successor and son, Alexander III, inherited Russia in different states and degrees of turmoil. Due to these pressures, both were required to make alterations to the systems in place, such as that of politics and economics. However the natures of their crisis were different and therefore the subsequent modifications varied and were, in many cases, controversial.

Alexander II came to power in 1855 and had to deal with the humiliation Russia suffered from her loss in the Crimean War. Due to the lacking standards within all categories, the Czar made a series of reforms in order to better inner stability and international position. However
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The main distinction between Alexander II and Alexander III is their contrasting outlook on education. Alexander II was a major reformist and strongly believed that adjustments were necessary in all aspects in order to improve Russia’s status. His reign saw the introduction of freedom of speech; a concept previously not advocated. The lack of censorship provided universities with access to western materials, such as that of Karl Marx, the radical revolutionary socialist. Despite the many changes Russia had undergone throughout Alexander II rule, many students began to believe that revolution was a better path than reform. An uprising that demanded the Czar share or give up power ended in his assassination. Alexander III came to throne, not with intentions to make concessions to the revolutionaries, but to restrict any free thought. Censorship increased dramatically and an establishment of an okhrana, a secret police, was inserted to infiltrate university groups that planned to overthrow the Czar. This lockdown of free thought induced greater dislike many had for the political system in place and despite his intentions, led to further unrest. Despite this monumental difference between the two Czar, they shared another motive.

The reasons for Alexander II reforms was not only to increase inner stability but also international relations, hence his great desire to push industrialization. The emancipation of

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